Nexus on Ubuntu Linux: A Guide on Setting Up Thunderbird/Lightning/Davmail

Davmail, is an Exchange gateway, allowing users to connect to exchange via an alternate groupware client.

Thunderbird is an email client, produced by the Mozilla Foundation.

Lightning is the Calendaring addin for Thunderbird, also produced by the Mozilla Foundation

This guide has been written using a fresh, but fully updated copy of Ubuntu 11.04 (including the recommended third party updates), Thunderbird 6.0.2, Lightning 1.05b and Davmail 3.9.4. In principle, I guess it should work on an updated Debian system as well, but I have not tested this.

What doesn't work/What never will work

You cannot Initiate new sharing requests, using this, and never will be able to. This can only be done in Outlook and via OWA (through the Messageware Extension). Tasks do not currently work, but may do in future versions.

1. Installing Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning

Open a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/thunderbird-stable

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

This will:

2. Configuring Thunderbird with email

From a new installation of Thunderbird, it will prompt you for the Mail Account Wizard:

On the first screen enter:

Your Name: Your name, as shown to others
Email Address: Should be your oxford email address, i.e
Password: Your SSO password

Click on continue. It will not be able to configure automatically and you will have to set it up:

The settings should read:

Incoming : IMAP : : 993 : SSL/TLS : Normal Password
Outgoing: SMTP : : 587 : STARTTLS : Normal Password
Username: Your SSO Username

This will:

3. Installing Lightning

With Thunderbird still open go to Tools --> Add-ons

should appear of the Main page, otherwise search for it. Click on it then click on Add to Thunderbird

When the prompt appears click on Install now, then after installation, restart Thunderbird.

3. Installing Davmail

Sadly, Davmail is not available through a respository at the moment as far as I am aware.

To install Davmail go to :

Click on the latest version (should be at the top, at time of writing the folder is called 3.9.4)

Download the file that ends in .deb, the file format is always davmail_x.y.z-buildnumber-1_all.deb. At time of writing it is davmail_3.9.4-1787-1_all.deb

On Ubuntu, opening this will open it up with Ubuntu Software Centre. Click on Install (or Upgrade if it's been there before), authenticate and wait for it complete.

This will:

3a. Fixing Display Notifications

If you are using the Default Ubuntu theme (either in Unity or GNOME(Ubuntu Classic) then: (otherwise skip to step 4)

Open a terminal


sudo apt-get install libswt-gtk-3.6-java

sudo update-alternatives --config swt.jar

Select the one (in my case option 2) that contains the higher version number, i.e for me it was option 2

2           /usr/lib/java/swt-gtk-3.6.2.jar   103       manual mode

This will:

4. Configuring Davmail

Open up Davmail and it will prompt you for settings, and also put the Davmail logo (a yelow filled circle with a white lightning bolt inside it).

Most of the options can remain unchanged. On the Main section, under Gateway make sure it is set as the following:

OWA (Exchange) URL:

Local POP Port: Unticked

Local IMAP Port: Unticked

Local SMTP Port: Unticked

Caldev HTTP Port: Ticked - 1080

Local LDAP Port: Ticked - 1389

Then click on the Advanced tab

Make sure the tick box next to Enable EWS is Ticked

Click Save

5. Configuring Thunderbird with the calendar

Open up Thunderbird, and click on the Calandar icon on the top row. You'll see the Home calendar which it automatically creates. Right click on it then click on

New calendar

A new window will now appear so select:

On the Network then Next

Select Caldev

Location: http://localhost:1080/users/

Replacing with your primary email address. So for example, for me it's http://localhost:1080/users/

Then press next.

It will ask you for a name, I would recommend using your own name for this (to make it easier if you have multiple calendar showing). Once done, select next.

It will then prompt you for you user name and password (If it doesn't double click that Davmail is currently running)

Enter these and the calendar should sync.

You cannot share calanders through this, however if you have already set up shared calanders using Outlook, then you can view other peoples calanders by setting up a new one, and inserting their primary email address instead.

6. Configuring Thunderbird with LDAP/GAL (Address lookup)

From within thunderbird go to Edit --> Preferences to bring up the Thunderbird Preferences screen.

Click on Composition then the Addressing tab.

Click on the checkbox next to Directory Server then click on Edit Directories then Add.

Settings are as follows:

Name: Nexus

Hostname: localhost

Base DN: ou=people

Port Number: 1389

Bind DN: Your Oxford Username

Leave the Use SSL Connection box unticked.

Press OK twice to get back to the Preferences screen.

Tick the box next to Directory Server and make sure that Nexus is selected from the drop down.

When typing emails now, it will automatically try and do a lookup on a name in the address field.

7. Configuring Davmail to Run at Startup

Go System --> Administration --> Startup Applications
Click Add.

The Dialog box that appears should look like this:

Name: Davmail
Command: davmail
Comment: (leave blank)

If you have any queries on this, please contact